Curzon, Sir Clifford (Michael)

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Curzon, Sir Clifford (Michael)

Curzon, Sir Clifford (Michael) , eminent English pianist; b. London, May 18, 1907; d. there, Sept. 1, 1982. His father and mother were music- lovers and they encouraged their son’s studies, first as a violinist, and then as a pianist. In 1919 he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied piano with Charles Reddie and Katharine Goodson; he won two scholarships and the Macfarren Gold Medal. At the age of 16, he garnered praise as a soloist in Bach’s Triple Concerto at a Henry Wood Promenade Concert in London. He was only 19 when he was given a post as a teacher at the Royal Academy of Music, but he decided to continue his studies and went to Berlin (1928), where he was tutored by Schnabel, and then to Paris (1930), where he took courses with Landowska in harpsichord and with Boulanger in general music culture. In 1932 he returned to England and pursued a distinguished concert career. On Feb. 26, 1939, he made an auspicious U.S. debut in N.Y., and in subsequent years made regular concert tours in the U.S. Curzon was a scholarly virtuoso with a formidable technique. His interpretations of Mozart and Beethoven were particularly notable, but he also was praised for his congenial interpretations of works by Romantic composers, especially Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms. In 1958 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He received the degree of D.Mus. honoris causa from the Univ. of Leeds in 1970. He was knighted in 1977. In 1980 he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Phil. Soc. in London. In 1931 he married Lucille Wallace.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Curzon, Sir Clifford (Michael)

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